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The Longer Wavelengths

Summer 2010 found Ye Olde Photographer intrigued by the thought of some infrared shots. YOP had not shot any IR film since about 19-ought-65, so this was essentially a new challenge. The imagined project was some dramatic shots of landscape and historic infrastructure in the Schuylkill Valley, starting close to home.

The first challenge was acquiring a filter or two to fit the gear intended for use. The second was working out what sort of "filter factor" would be suitable to use the film acquired for the task. Two different filters were tried, one with a cut-off at 720 nm and one at 760 nm. YOP still has an 89B filter (~695 nm cutoff) from long ago, but it is too small for the Bronica lenses being used.

By the time the original purchase of five rolls of Rollei Infrared 400 was eaten up, we had gotten some nice stuff. The reliability of results was nowhere near the success rate in the visible spectrum, but that is one of the hazards where the film spectral sensitivity does not match the eye - or light meter!

Since we now have the filters, it was natural to try them on the unmodified EOS 40D here. Alas, that is an exercise in pure tedium - twenty second exposures in bright sun anybody? It does produce some semblance of recognizable results. The 720 nm filter is a better choice with the 40D, but still tedious.

Another data point - YOP used a 4x5 press camera with a flip-up wire frame viewfinder for his first IR shooting. It wasn't until after he had five rolls of 120 IR film in hand that it sank in - with an SLR, you can't compose or focus with an IR filter on the lens. (For those who've never seen one, an IR filter looks like a piece of black plastic!) So this became quite an exercise in attaching and removing filters, along with all the other twiddles for a manual camera. Besides long exposures, a tripod is highly desirable, just for a third hand.

In summer 2012, we did some more work, this time using a Yashica Mat 124G TLR. That solves the opaque filter problem since a second lens is used for viewing and focusing. In general it worked out well. Summer 2013 brought a test of Ilford SFX200, an "extended red" film.

Rolls Y006 & Y007
:: Rolls Y006 & Y007 ::
Rollei Infrared 400
:: Rollei Infrared 400 ::
EFKE IR 820
:: EFKE IR 820 ::
More Tests
:: More Tests ::
Ilford SFX200
:: Ilford SFX200 ::
EOS40D IR760 Filter
EOS40D IR760 Filter